As part of our #OSDeveloper series, we’re bringing you a guest blog by Liam Mason, spatial analyst and cartographer for the Scottish Government.
Following 96 miles of ancient paths such as drovers’ and military roads, the route passes from the suburbs of Scotland’s largest city, along the shores of the UK’s largest lake, crossing the remains of a supervolcano, before arriving at the UK’s largest peak.
To commemorate my walk, I wanted to make a map. I’d tracked my efforts using a GPS watch, so I had a wealth of data. Points, tracks, distance, pace, heart rate, elevation… So much data it was a bit overwhelming. What was important for the narrative? What style was I looking for?
In the nineteenth century, it was believed that cholera was transmitted and spread by miasma (a theory that claimed epidemics were caused by bad odours emanating from rotting organic matter). In 1854 a major outbreak of cholera reached the district of Soho, London. A lack of proper sanitary services and poor drainage meant that the outbreak hit hard.
John Snow was an English physician and a sceptic of the miasma theory. By visually representing the location of each cholera case on a map, Snow was able to show evidence of a connection between the Broad Street water pump and the number of cholera cases in the immediate vicinity.
This map presented the data visually and geographically, allowing us to see a pattern and correlation between the water pump and location of cases. Not only did this insight ultimately lead to the discovery of the source of the outbreak, it forever changed how we interpret our world.
What is data visualisation?
Balkerne enables property owners and insurers to prevent losses from manmade and natural events through predictive, actionable, and location-based intelligence. As co-founder, Harish Pesala is using OS data to develop products that help insurers, brokers, and property owners to act before things go wrong. How? Harish tells us more…
Seeing images in the media of businesses and families severely affected by storms in the UK, we asked ourselves: “Why doesn’t the right information get to the right people at the right time to prevent this from happening?”. From this question, the concept of Balkerne was born.
Given the latest technological advancements and the amount of data available nowadays, we started wondering why a solution that could stop such tremendous losses from happening had not been developed yet. We saw a huge opportunity to make businesses and society more resilient, and decided it was time to act.
Software: ArcGIS Pro 2.5
Data: OS Open Zoomstack
There are currently a number of examples in the geospatial industry of people using various different styles to create interesting and artistic outputs. The brilliant John Nelson recently wrote a blog on paper terrain styles which inspired me to create my own map using OS OpenData that I could then print on to canvas.
This blog post will outline the steps I took to obtain and process the data to create the final output. I used Esri ArcGIS Pro for this project, but similar styles and tutorials exist for other GIS software.
Throughout the coronavirus pandemic, we’ve been supporting the country’s response with our data. In April, we announced the release of an additional Covid-19 licence (extended until March 2021). This enables organisations, developers and individuals to use OS data, free at the point of use, for the specific purpose of supporting the UK response to Covid-19.
Since using our Covid-19 licence, we’ve welcomed 4 Earth Intelligence (4EI) as an OS partner! For this week’s OS Developer blog, their Chief Technology Officer Richard Flemmings explains how OS data is enabling their work to address climate change…
Air, surface and soil temperatures in cities are higher than their surrounding rural areas, predominantly due to the modification of land cover. The compact design of cities and the lack of vegetation and green spaces means that heat gets trapped within the urban area from both natural and waste heat energy. This is created from everyday life such as heat escaping from insulated buildings and is known as the urban heat island effect.
Satellite data analysis is complex and most people think it’s beyond their skill to understand and use it. However, that’s what we do and it’s 4EI’s core mission – we take complex science and distil it into information and insights that are valuable to our customers – at its simplest, this includes making maps.
Continuing our OS Developer content and adding to our series of blogs introducing the people that make up OS, our Associate Data Management Specialist Alina Piotrowska shares a day in the life of a data steward…
When did you start at OS?
I joined OS back in May 2019 as an Associate Data Management Specialist in the Data Management and Requirements team. A large part of my role is to care for our data and to make sure it is meeting customer requirements.
One of our data principles states that OS data ‘is cared for’. This means we treat our data as though it is our own; protecting and nurturing it. We recognise it as a valuable asset, look after it and ensure it gets the time, resources and prioritisation it needs. We do this to ensure that it delivers our outcomes.
As a cohort member of the Geovation Accelerator Programme, founder and CEO of Building Passport Rupert Parker explains how he has used OS data to support his PropTech start-up…
In recent years, there has been a lot of discussion around the suitability of today’s systems and methods for preventing and reducing incidents relating to fire in our built environment.
Three years have passed since the Grenfell Tower fire in 2017 and we are on the verge of legislative change to avoid similar events happening in the future. This will revolutionise the status quo of building ownership and operation.
As co-founder of property.xyz, Robert Jones has been investing in property for more than 15 years and creating data led content with Property Investments UK for over 8 years. As a member of Geovation, Robert explains how his company has been utilising OS data with the aim of building the world’s most intelligent property platform…
Carly Florina, ex-CEO of Hewlett Packard once said, “the goal is to turn data into information, and information into insight”, and she couldn’t be more right.
Because while collectively we are gathering data at a greater scale than ever before, the usefulness of it all remains largely elusive.
As such, lying before us, at the beginning of the data revolution, are vistas of untapped potential. Companies possessing a vision of how to transform the information at our disposal into something useful find themselves empowered to make a meaningful difference in their respective industries like never before.
As the Technical Director at Cadcorp, Martin Daly has written this week’s #OSDeveloper guest blog to share his experience of the new OS Data Hub and desktop GIS…
At Cadcorp, we have, for the best part of 30 years, endeavoured to ensure that our Cadcorp SIS – Spatial Information System® suite of GIS software supports all of the wide variety of Ordnance Survey data products, in all of the wide variety of data supply formats, in as simple and effective a way as possible.
We’ve worked very hard over those years to allow end-users to, for example, drag-and drop file-based data in the format supplied by OS. That capability began all the way back with Land-Line NTF in the 1990s:
Here at OS, we have an array of addressing products which can be utilised based on specific customer requirements. We have designed an interactive StoryMap that gives users an introduction to Code-Point, Code-Point with Polygons, Code-Point Open and AddressBase products.
This resource explains some key points regarding these addressing and location datasets. As well as answering some of our most asked questions, we have included two case studies (which focus on insurance and navigation) to highlight where certain datasets might be more appropriate to use.